‘Tereko mai utha lunga idhar se’ - Irfan Pathan recalls how Shoaib Akhtar threatened him in the 2006 Faisalabad Test
Irfan Pathan, the former Indian cricketer, recalled the times when he had a bit of a spat with Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar in the 2006 Test at Faisalabad. India, led by Rahul Dravid, managed to eke out a draw despite the hosts racking up over 1,000 runs at the Iqbal Stadium. In that game, Irfan managed 90 off 170, a knock that helped the visitors to a 15-run first-innings lead.
In the first innings, he strolled out after Shoaib Akhtar nipped out Sachin Tendulkar for 14 and was breathing fire. The pacer welcomed Irfan with a vicious bouncer and was churning out speeds around the 160 kph mark. Irfan remembered that Shoaib was getting the ball to reverse and was resorting to sledging as well. That’s when Pathan decided to match fire with fire.
“When I was coming out to bat, Akhtar was bowling at a rapid pace of 150-160 kph. I went down and joined Dhoni and asked how’s the pitch is behaving, he responded by saying, ‘nothing much, you just bat’,” Irfan told to Sports Tak on Instagram Live.
Asked Dhoni to laugh at Akhtar: Irfan Pathan
“I faced Akhtar’s first ball and it was a bouncer and couldn’t even see the ball. Somehow we tried to negate his spell. We tried building our partnership and after sometime, Akhtar again came for a new spell,” he stated.
Irfan said that he took matter on his own hands and pledged to wear Akhtar down. Moreover, he asked MS Dhoni to laugh at Akhtar. He eventually managed to get under Akhtar’s skin. Getting agitated, the Rawalpindi Express replied back with a threat.
“Akhtar was sledging. ‘Agar baat das hai toh woh bees bolenge’. I told Dhoni ‘I will sledge Akhtar and you just laugh at him’ and Dhoni agreed to it. Akhtar continued sledging us and the ball started to reverse.
“That was the time, I sledged Akhtar saying ‘paaji, agla spell me utna hi jaan lagegi?’. Akhtar responded angrily saying, ‘Bahut zyada baat kar rahe ho, tereko mai utha lunga idhar se’. He somehow completed that spell and that was how we drew that Test,” he added.
Irfan and Dhoni managed to put on 210 for the sixth wicket that turned crucial in the context of the game. The now 38-year-old Dhoni managed 148 runs off 153 balls with 19 fours and four sixes. Akhtar didn’t have a great game as he got only Sachin’s wicket at an economy of four.